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The Full Pint – In Search of Quality

Editor’s Note: A lot of people accuse the Brewers Association of not doing enough to improve, which just isn’t true. In my latest piece for The Full Pint, I spoke with the Brewers Association and their Quality team as well as several breweries to find out what all the BA is doing to help improve the quality of the beer in your glass. 


2017 was a busy year for the Brewers Association (BA). It seemed like the theme of the year was Independence with the launch of the new “Independence” logo which encouraged breweries who met the BA’s definition for independence to proudly display the logo on their packaging and in their breweries. Three months later, they launched their “Take Back Craft” campaign with a satirical effort to buy Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI). Although the BA didn’t quite hit their target of $213 Billion, raising $3.8 million in pledges, many wondered when the BA would address one of the more important issues plaguing the continued success of craft beer: Quality Assurance (QA).

In Search of Quality

Quality Assurance is more than just producing beer that tastes good at the brewery. It’s producing beer that’s free of defects and then packaged to the highest standard so the beer stays fresh and tasty for as long as possible in the brewery and after it leaves. While QA may be a hugely important part of the continued growth of craft beer and the ongoing success of individual breweries, it’s certainly not as outwardly visible or sexy as the Independence campaign. This is the main reason that the BA’s QA efforts have gone largely unnoticed.

Quality Assurance and best practices have been a central pillar of the BA’s programming since the earliest days of the organization and is the first option available on their website’s drop down menus. “Virtually all of the Brewers Association[‘s website] has practical applications for brewery members,”  says Ann Obenchain, Marketing Director of the BA. For many of America’s older craft breweries, their QA programs have grown in league with the BA’s increased focus on quality. “It would be difficult to narrow… (Continue Reading at The Full Pint)

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